Welcome back for week three! For those of you who are just joining us, we’re on a little tour to the cheaper side of visiting the U.S. capitol. This week we will be talking about another way to save money on a trip, and that’s cheap eats.

Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you have to eat McDonald’s every night, though you certainly could if you wanted to. There are a few good tips that I have in general, and specific to DC for how to save money on one of the few things you can’t ignore while on a trip–your stomach. In DC, it’s easy to spend lots of money, and I freely admit there are a few restaurants where I love to splurge (La Tasca and Matchbox being two of those). However, there are tons of cheaper options out there for the budget-conscious. I’d recommend budgeting to spend around $10-15 on a meal, but you could definitely do it for less. If I’m really feeling tight on cash, I stick to soup: cheap and filling. There are lots of medium-priced options out there, but here are a few faves:

Amsterdam Falafel

More well known for its bar district location and after-drinks food, Amsterdam Falafel is just as good in the daylight. Super cheap and in the Adams Morgan neighborhood, it’s a great stop.

Zorba’s Greek Cafe

Conveniently located in Dupont, Zorba’s is a great cheap Greek restaurant. Offering all the traditional Greek standards, be sure to make time to wait for a table during the rush hour, or grab food to go and take it to a nearby park.

Cava

A chain restaurant similar to Chipotle, it’s Mediterranean style with offerings of hummus, cucumber salad and red pepper sauce as toppings. So long as you don’t spring for the pricier meats, it’s a great bargain. Beware though… load on too many ingredients and the pita is really hard to eat!

Ben’s Chili Bowl

A DC classic, Ben’s is always packed out with locals and tourists alike. It’s worth the buzz, and bring cash to pay. Hot tip: if there’s no seating (a real possibility) head to a nearby neighborhood to grab a seat on a stoop.

With a little bit of research it’s not too difficult to find cheap eats to save some money in DC. Definitely splurge a night or two, but these tried-and-trues can save you some cash while you are out and about! Be sure to check back next week for week 4, the final week of our series on cheap activities in the DC area.

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